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Biological and Chemical Agent Quick Reference Tables

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Biological Agents
AGENT INCUBATION LETHALITY PERSISTENCE DISSEMINATION
Bacteria
Anthrax 1-5 Days 3-5 days fatal Very stable Aerosol
Cholera 12 hours-6 days Low with treatment
High without treatment
Unstable
Stable in saltwater
Aerosol
Sabotage of water
Plague 1-3 days 1-6 days fatal Extremely stable Aerosol
Tularemia 1-10 days 2 weeks moderate Very stable Aerosol
Q fever 14-26 days Weeks? Stable Aerosol
Sabotage
Viruses
Smallpox 10-12 days High Very stable Aerosol
Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis 1-6 days Low Unstable Aerosol
Vectors
Ebola 4-6 days 7-16 days fatal Unstable Aerosol
Direct contact
Biological Toxins
Botulinum toxins Hours to days High without treatment Stable Aerosol
Sabotage
Staphylococcal enterotoxin B 1-6 days Low Stable Aerosol
Sabotage
Ricin Hours to days 10-12 days fatal Stable Aerosol
Sabotage
Tricothecene mycotoxins (T2) 2-4 hours Moderate Extremely stable Aerosol
Sabotage

 

For more detailed information on Biological Agents, see http://www.usamriid.army.mil/education/bluebook.htm.

 

Chemical Agents
AGENT SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS DECONTAMINATION PERSISTENCE
Nerve Agents
Tabun (GA) Salivation
Lacrimation
Urination
Defecation
Gastric disturbances
Emesis
Remove contaminated clothing
Flush with a soap and water solution for patients
Flush with large amounts of a 5% bleach and water solution for objects
1-2 days if heavy concentration
Sarin (GB) 1-2 days will evaporate with water
Soman (GD) Moderate, 1-2 days
V Agents (VX) High, 1 week if heavy concentration
As volatile as motor oil
Vesicants (Blister Agents)
Sulfur Mustard (H) Acts first as a cell irritant, then as a cell poison. Conjunctivitis, reddened skin, blisters, nasal irritation, inflammation of throat and lungs. Remove contaiminated clothing
Flush with soap and water solution for patients.
Flush with large amounts of a 5% bleach and water solution for objects
Very high, days to weeks
Distilled Mustard (HD)
Nitrogen Mustard (HN 1,3)
Mustargen (HN2) Moderate
Lewisite (L) Immediate pain with blisters later. Days, rapid hydrolysis with humidity
Phosgene Oxime (CX) Immediate pain with blisters later-necrosis equivalent to second and third degree burns Low, 2 hours in soil
Chemical Asphyxiants (Blood agents)
Hydrogen Cyanide (AC) Cherry red skin or ~ 30% cyanosis. Patients may appear to be gasping for air. Seizures prior to death. Effect is similar to asphyxiation, but is more sudden. Remove contaminated clothing.
Flush with a soap and water solution for patients.
Flush with large amounts of 5% bleach and water solution for objects.
Extremely volatile, 1-2 days
Cyanogen Chloride (CK) Rapidly evaporates and disperses
Arsine (SA) Low

Personal Protective Equipment Levels:

  • Level A: Fully encapsulated suit with SCBA
  • Level B: Non-encapsulated suit with SCBA
  • Level C: Splash Suit (tyvex coveralls) with an air purfying respirator (APR)

Contact Phone Numbers:

  • CHEMTREC: 800-424-9300
  • National Response Center: 800-424-8802
  • Center for Disease Control: 888-232-3228
  • U.S. Public Health Service: 800-USA-NDMS

 

 

 
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